At the May Agenda Review and Action
Sessions, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners will
discuss Opportunity Culture, teacher evaluations, real estate updates and more
as we head into an exciting summer for our district.





An important scheduling item to
note: going forward, presentations from the Superintendent’s Reports section of
the agenda will be shared at the Thursday Action Sessions. In order to balance
the timing and scope of our Board sessions, presentations will be featured at
the televised Action Sessions. Each meeting’s agenda can be found in advance on BoardDocs, with presentation materials and
other documents attached for reference.


Culture Update

Academic Improvement Officer
Jesse Pratt, who oversees the IPS Transformation Zone schools, will provide
commissioners an update on the progress of our pilot Opportunity
(OC) schools and next steps
for expansion of this model. OC is a strategic initiative to increase the reach
of excellent teachers to more students and offer incentive pay to recruit and
retain top teachers. Teachers can earn up to $18,000 above their base salary by
taking on roles with increased leadership and responsibility. Six IPS schools
from our Transformation Zone will implement OC models in the fall of 2016:


  • Lew Wallace School 107
  • Louis B. Russell School 48
  • Wendell Phillips School 63
  • William Penn School 49
  • George Washington Community High School
  • Northwest Community High School


School-based design teams
built their own instructional models to fit the exact needs of each school
community. Information about the specific model elements will be shared, along
with initial plans for the second cohort of IPS OC schools.


Evaluation Redesign

The IPS Board of School
Commissioners Core
Commitments and Beliefs
“effective teachers and great schools are the key to students’ success.” As our
leadership strives to ensure every IPS school is a great place to teach and
learn, our Human Resources team is redesigning our evaluations process. A
dedicated steering committee of 25 IPS teachers, principals and central office
staff meet regularly to develop a rigorous and fair evaluation process. After
reviewing assessments of the current evaluation rubric, the steering committee
identified the Danielson
as an exemplary model for
evaluation. Commissioners will be briefed on the recommended rubric, along with
steps for training and implementation.


Service Surplus

Thanks to our efforts through
Strategic Plan 2015
Efficient Operations goal area and the savings created by USDA reimbursement
for our food service offerings, IPS has the opportunity to implement new
initiatives and improvements supporting school nutrition. This surplus will be
allocated to future annual expenses and a group of one-time purchases, which include
a “taste” of innovation. One-time purchases include:


  • William
    Penn School 49 cafeteria expansion
  • Cafeteria
    table replacement
  • Salad
    bar expansion
  • Food
  • Smoothie



Estate Update

IPS has participated in a thoughtful process regarding the
potential sale of our SCIPS property in the popular Mass Ave. district, and a
recommendation will be presented to Commissioners at Tuesday’s Agenda Review
session. Our Real Estate Advisory Committee – a group of dedicated local
professionals lending their expertise to provide recommendations – has been
invaluable to us as we navigate the complexities of a large development
project. The Advisory Committee will share their recommendation with
Commissioners, along with an additional proposed action item to foster a
partnership with the City of Indianapolis to collaborate with the potential
buyer. This step would ensure any potential sale fulfills the vision of
the Real Estate Advisory Committee to reach an agreement which is
beneficial to our district and meets the needs of our community.
An additional surplus property, Otis E. Brown School 20, will also be
recommended for completion of sale.



As we maintain continued
transparency in our operations, the IPS Finance Division will host a public
hearing Tuesday regarding the request of additional appropriations. The purpose
of this process is to request approval to spend more than was initially
allotted by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) for the current
budget year. IPS’ transition from a calendar year budget to a fiscal year
budget, along with a change in property tax caps, resulted in lower revenue
than usual for our district. The request for appropriations is not uncommon for
districts operating on a fiscal year budget, and DLGF sees this situation
regularly with other similar districts. Many initiatives covered by the
additional appropriations would increase long-term fiscal responsibility,
including IPS Strategic Plan 2015 items and the addition of propane-fueled
buses to lower fuel and maintenance costs for Transportation.